Dallas Sierra Club Calendar
May 2-3 (Sat-Sun) Beginner Backpack In Caney Creek Wilderness West End
It can be kind of warm in May for a hard backpack so we'll take it easy. We'll start on the west end of Caney Creek (rather than the east end where most of our trips are) and hike in 2 or 3 miles. There we'll find a camp by the creek where there are some nice deep holes. If it gets hot we can soak in the creek! Even in May I promise that will cool you off. Our camp Friday night will be a 10 minute walk or so from the trailhead so it will be good (although not required) if you can get there before the 8pm sunset. Caney is about 5 hours from Dallas.
There is a small hill to be conquered so you'll get a chance to test out the legs and those new boots just a bit. Let's have one last fling in Arkansas before the summer heat sets in! We will have to wade the Cossatot River first thing Saturday morning and we'll probably wade Caney Creek at least once. Plan on getting your feet wet. Bring a book, your hammock, and maybe your favorite libation.
May 23-25 (Sat-Mon) Southwest Texas Explorapalooza
Enjoy a great outing this Memorial Day weekend. Explore the west edge of the Hill Country from a base at South Llano River State Park, near Junction, Texas. This park has new restrooms with flush toilets, hot water and hot showers! We've even arranged an option to camp in a motel in Junction. We've chartered a coach to transport you there Saturday morning and return you by 9:30 PM Monday (Memorial Day). Explore the Caverns of Sonora, historic frontier Fort McKavett and Devils Sinkhole State Natural Area (at twilight, to watch a tornado of three million bats fly from a limestone cave to search for insects). Monday morning you can rent a tube to float the clear South Llano River, hike some of the park's miles of trails, fish or sleep late before the party bus returns to Dallas. Trip details and registration forms are in this PDF. Bus trip leader: Annie Wilson Send Email 682-232-4980
May 27 (Wed) Wilderness Navigation Class - Part 1
Learn to find your way in the wilderness in this comprehensive two-night class. Topics include buying maps, how to read maps, how not to get lost, what to do if you do get lost, different kinds of compasses and how to use your compass. We'll discuss GPS devices, but our main focus will be how to use a map and compass so you're not trusting your navigation (and life) to something that takes batteries. If you have a compass, bring it to the class. If you don't have one, we will have an extra you can use and will show you what to look for when you purchase your own. The class is offered at the First United Methodist Church, Richardson, 503 N. Central Expressway, Richardson, TX, Room 230. Click here for directions to the location from Central Expressway. The class will start promptly at 6:30 PM and will finish at about 8:45 PM. The total fee for the two-night class is $40 or $35 for Sierra Club members. Handouts are included. Bring a pen or pencil for taking notes and for navigation practice exercises. A reservation isn't necessary. Just show up. Part 2 of the class is the following night (Thursday, May 28), same time and place. A day hike with a class instructor will be offered to class participants who want to practice their new skills. Contact: Bill Greer Send Email 972-247-0446
May 28 (Thu) Wilderness Navigation Class - Part 2
Part 2 of the two-night Wilderness Navigation class is tonight at the same place - First United Methodist Church, Richardson, 503 N. Central Expressway, Room 230. Click here for directions to the location. The class starts at 6:30 PM and will finish at about 8:45. The fee for the two-night class is $40, $35 for Sierra Club members. Bring a pen or pencil. Contact: Bill Greer Send Email 972-247-0446
Jun 21-26 (Sun-Fri) Beginner Long Backpack Trip In Columbine-Hondo Wilderness, New Mexico
A backpack trip several days in length is a very different experience from a weekend trip. But entirely too many people restrict themselves to just weekend trips. Besides taking a leisurely trip to enjoy a newly designated Wilderness area we will try to introduce some new people to the pleasures of a longer trip.
Our first day we will hike a short distance and spend the night to give ourselves time to adjust to altitude at 8,400 feet. The second day we’ll travel another 3 ½ miles or so (with a climb of about 1,600 feet) to our base camp in a nice meadow at 10,000 feet. From there we will have 3 days to dayhike, explore one of my favorite areas, and just enjoy being there. There are two small lakes (one off-trail) that we can reach and, weather permitting, we might hike to the top of 12,115 foot Lobo Peak. We’ll spend a total of 6 days and 5 nights in the Wilderness.
If you want to see what a longer trip is like or just want to enjoy a leisurely trip in a pretty area, come along! If you want to see how many miles you can cover in 6 days this isn’t the trip for you. Trip rated: Moderately Strenuous. Leaders: Bill Greer Send Email 972-247-0446 and Sue Greer Send Email
The Columbine-Hondo has languished for many years in “Wilderness Study Area” status which provided some protection but could go away at any time. Republicans in the new Senate have introduced legislation to end all Wilderness Study Areas. In December of 2014 President Obama signed a bill designating Columbine-Hondo as Wilderness. So our trip will visit one of Americas newest Wilderness Areas!
Columbine-Hondo is a small area just outside Red River New Mexico. You can learn more about it here: http://www.columbinehondo.org/ .
We’ll spend Saturday night before the trip in Red River. If there’s interest we’ll get together a few weeks before the trip to go over food and equipment needs for a longer trip. Red River is a 10 to 11 hour drive from Dallas. Car pooling will be encouraged.
Jul 19-24 (Sun-Fri) Backpacking in the San Juan Mountains, Colorado
Plan now for five days of backpacking in the breathtaking San Juan Mountains, on or below the Continental Divide in the Weminuche and South San Juan Wilderness Areas. Allow time on both ends of the outing for travel. We'll use private cars and car pools to reach multiple trailheads in Colorado, north of Chama, New Mexico. Backpackers will gather in Chama for lunch on Sunday, July 19. There's no fee for this trip. Five backpacking itineraries are offered, rated moderately strenuous or strenuous due to elevations from 8,400 to 13,122 feet. See details and registration forms by clicking here. Trip rated: Moderately Strenuous. Coordinator: Mark Stein Send Email 214-526-3733
Sep 4-8 (Fri-Tue) Red, Gold, Wild and Wheeler, New Mexico
Backpack in the Questa Ranger District of Carson National Forest or hike and backpack in the Wild Rivers Area of Rio Grande del Norte National Monument. We’ve chartered a bus so you can enjoy these destinations this Labor Day weekend. Trip options include hiking and camping beside the rapids of the Rio Grande, backpacking to the high meadows of Sawmill Park in the Wheeler Peak Wilderness, hiking to the summit of Wheeler Peak (New Mexico's highest) from a loop route following forks of the Red River, trekking from Taos Ski Valley to massive Gold Hill from a base camp at Bull-of-the-Woods Pasture and backpacking from BOTWP onto scenic Hondo Ridge to descend into the green Columbine Basin. This New Mexico trip will depart on a Friday night and return by sunup on Tuesday. For complete information about this trip, including price and sign-up instructions, please read this PDF file. Contact: Steve Fleischman Send Email 972-689-7317
Oct 16-18 (Fri-Sun) Beavers Bend State Park Annual Fall Gathering, Oklahoma
Mark your calendar now so you can join us for this relaxing weekend among the fall beauty of southeastern Oklahoma. Choice of rustic cabin (shelter with roof and walls) or tent camping. We'll offer several hike options ranging from a one mile nature trail for those just wanting to enjoy the view, to a 7 mile roller-coaster trail up and down and over the skyline ridges. The park also offers many family-friendly activities you can enjoy. Check back in early August for more details and reservation information. This event has sold out in the past so once reservations open, don't wait too long to sign up! Trip rated: Kid Friendly. Coordinator: Liz Wheelan Send Email
Oct 28-Nov 1 (Wed-Sun) Backpack at Buffalo National River, Arkansas
Circle these dates for an autumn excursion to scenic Buffalo National River in northern Arkansas, an area managed by the U.S. National Park Service. Backpack on trails parallel to a river fringed by high, sometimes dramatic, limestone bluffs. This park is more than scenery. The history of a hardscrabble valley is preserved through historic structures and cemeteries connected by trails. Bus transportation allows us to explore linear segments along the river and its side hollows (no out-and-back routes) and the dry fall season allows hiking across the river via shallow fords. This trip will depart near 9 p.m. on a Wednesday night and return at about the same time on Sunday night. Bus trip leader: Bill Beach Send Email 214-662-3224